Roisin Murphy, Soak, Aphex Twin on Mercury Prize shortlist

Other names in the running include Florence + The Machine, Jamie xx and Ghostpoet

Irish artists Roisin Murphy and Soak are on the shortlist for the 2015 Mercury Prize, while Limerick-born electronic producer Aphex Twin also makes the list.

The other names in contention for the prize include Florence + The Machine, Jamie xx, Wolf Alice, C Duncan, Eska, Ghostpoet, Benjamin Clementine, former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes and Slaves.

The shortlist was announced on BBC Radio 6 on Friday.

Aphex Twin was the first name announced and is included for his sixth studio album, Syro. Wolf Alice are being recognised for their debut full-length record, My Love Is Cool.


‘Absolutely flabbergasted’

Wolf Alice frontwoman Ellie Rowsell said: “We’re absolutely flabbergasted... I can speak for all of us, and say this is the best year of our lives.”

Murphy, formerly one half of Moloko, was the third name announced, with her third album Hairless Toys among the nominations.

“It just feels great, it’s wonderful,” she said.

Scottish composer Christopher Duncan, who performs as C Duncan, was the fourth name announced with his debut album, Architect.

The fifth name announced was Zimbabwean-born singer Eska (Eska Mtungwazi) with her eponymous debut.

Florence + The Machine’s third album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, was the sixth album announced. It is Florence Welch’s second nod on the Mercury Prize shortlist, following her 2009 debut, Lungs.

Former Mercury Prize jury member Ghostpoet - who previously received a nod for his 2011 debut, Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam - got his second nomination for his third album, Shedding Skin.

London-based singer and poet Benjamin Clementine was the eighth name to be announced, after scoring his first nomination on the list with his debut album, At Least For Now.

Jamie xx, who won the Mercury Prize in 2010 with The xx’s self-titled debut, was the ninth name to be unveiled on the shortlist.

‘Very surreal’

“It was such a big thing for The xx before when we got nominated, and it felt very surreal that first time,” said the 26-year-old singer.

Soak’s debut album, Before We Forgot How To Dream, was the 10th act announced. Soak - aka Bridie Monds-Watson, from Derry - said “it’s just crazy, I just did not see that coming. I started writing this album when I was 13 until I was 18, so it is a life thing.”

The final two albums to make the list are Matador, the second solo album from former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes, and Are You Satisfied?, the debut from Kent punk pair Slaves.

Simon Frith, chair of judges, said the list celebrated artists from every stage of their careers.

‘Fascinating variety’

“These musicians come from a fascinating variety of musical places, cultures and histories. What they have in common is the ambition and the craft, the ideas and the imagination to make great music.”

The Mercury Prize shortlist was narrowed down from more than 290 albums by a judging panel.

The awards ceremony, to be hosted by BBC Radio DJ Lauren Laverne, will be held at the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House in London on November 20th.